Winter is coming and he has company: Are you ready?

By Christopher Crooks, Canadian Red Cross Digital Volunteer

Winter is just around the corner. Time to grab some hot chocolate and warm up by the fire. Get your jackets, scarfs, gloves, and boots ready because it is going to be a frosty one! Unfortunately, winter isn’t coming alone. He is bringing his uninvited friend: the dreaded winter storm. It can strike at any time and last for days. Are you prepared if one blows your way? Learn the following tips to stay safe during a winter storm.
Snowy scene with an individual holding a snow blower and cars in the background.
First, understand winter storm basics. Such as, knowing the difference between a winter storm watch and a winter storm warning. A winter storm warning means a severe winter storm is already occurring or will occur soon in your area, while a winter storm watch means a winter storm is possible in your area.
Snow cover road with cars

Second, protect yourself. If there is a chance a storm may affect your area there are few things to remember:
  1. Have an emergency kit ready.
  2. Carbon monoxide kills: never use a generator, BBQ, or propane in an enclosed area.
  3. Follow official instructions during snow removal and clean up
Third, be ready. Learn what to do before, during, and after a winter storm. Before the storm, ensure that you winterize your home by insulating walls and attics; caulking and weather stripping doors and windows. Also ensure you have shovels and snow removal equipment handy.

During the storm, ensure that you avoid unnecessary travel and going outside. If you go outside, dress appropriately and use the “buddy” system if you can - bring someone outside with you. After the storm, listen to local news and weather reports for current road and weather conditions. Be careful and take your time when clearing snow to avoid overexertion.

Winter is the most wonderful time of year so don’t let a storm ruin it. Follow these tips to ensure you are prepared and safe this winter.
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